16 Aug

Table of Contents

Member Highlight: South Side Community Council 

PCRG Bike Ride

GoBurgh’s Transit Tales

Keystone Communities Workshop

Kiva Zip Pittsburgh

Responsible Hospitality Institute

Ohio CDC Association’s 29th Annual Conference

Events & Announcements


Member Highlight: South Side Community Council

Last modified on 2013-09-25 19:50:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

South Side Community Council is our August member highlight.  We sat down with Catherine Mitchell and Michael Clark to get the scoop on South Side.


  1. Organization:
    South Side Community Council
  2. Founding Date:
  3. President:
    Catherine Mitchell
  4. Current Staff Size:
    SSCC does not currently have full-time staff, but they are made up of 13 board members and 180 regular members.
  5. What geographic area do you serve?
    South Side Flats
  6. What is your mission statement?
    To maintain, improve, and protect the quality of life for South Side residents.
  7. What is your organization’s proudest accomplishment?
    “In the recent past, we have been particularly proud of the action committees we’ve developed.  SSCC’s Graffiti Watch  has done a great job in removing and preventing graffiti in the neighborhood. Our Green N’at action committee, along with the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association,  transformed an unused baseball field located in the South Side Park into a 90 plot community garden known as the Community Garden at Bandi Schaum Field.  With the help of Grow Pittsburgh’s City Growers program, the community garden created bylaws and has its own committee which consists of members of both community organizations.  The garden has become a fantastic place for neighbors to meet each other and develop relationships.”   In addition, the garden is one of the best examples of what community organizations can accomplish when working together.
  8. What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood?
    Cathy: “It’s not really a thing…but it’s the inclusiveness of the community.  I feel at home here.  The neighborhood is rich with people.”
    Michael: “Oliver Bath House, Farmers Market, Closeness to City, Ornsby Park, the new Carnegie Library, and Phillips Elementary School.  The Phillips Elementary School is one of the best schools in the City, and it’s one of the biggest draws for young families to move to the South Side.”
  9. What is one “must-see”/”must-do” when visiting your neighborhood?
    Cathy: “When friends and family visit from out of town, I love taking them to Games N’at.  They have older arcade games, pinball, and duck-pin bowling upstairs.”
  10. What is your neighborhood’s best kept secret?
    Michael: “One of our best kept secrets is the [Three Rivers Heritage Trail].  I think a lot of people don’t know about it unless you are a runner or cyclist who uses it regularly.”
  11. What is your favorite restaurant or business in your neighborhood?
    Cathy: The movie theater
    Michael: Double Wide Grill. We go at least twice a month, if not more.
  12. Upcoming event(s):
    SSCC’s 2nd Annual South Side Garden Tour is Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 10AM-2PM. Explore South Side’s “Secret Gardens” during the 2nd Annual South Side Garden Tour.This self-guided tour features unique and beautiful gardens throughout the neighborhood. The gardens include courtyards, large lot gardens, rooftop gardens, and more! Come out and see traditional, modern, and “green” gardens. The tour is rain or shine.

    Check in and receive your tour map at 18th and Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.

  13. Contact information:
    Catherine Mitchell
  14. Phone:
    (412) 467-6735
    South Side Community Council c/o
    Brashear Association 2005 Sarah St
    Pittsburgh, PA 15203
  1. WebsiteFacebook,
  2. Twitter (@MySouthSidePGH)

[Source: Catherine Mitchell, South Side Community Council President, and Michael Clark, South Side Community Council First Vice President]

For more information about PCRG membership, contact Katie Hale, PCRG’s Neighborhood Policy Manager, at katie@pcrg.org or (412) 391-6732 ext. 207. 

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PCRG Bike Ride

Last modified on 2014-12-16 18:10:29 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

National Bike Challenge

For the past two and a half months, PCRG and its members–Oakland Planning and Development Corporation and Uptown Partners–have been participating in the National Bike Challenge.  The PCRG team, consisting of 10 riders, moved from 35th place in June to 21st place in July, and we’re hoping to do even better in August.  As a team, we have logged over 2,100 miles and saved over 1,100 lbs of CO2! If you work or volunteer at one of PCRG’s 44 member organizations, we welcome you to join the PCRG team.

PCRG is excited to participate in BikeFest 2013!  On Sunday, August 18 at 8AM, PCRG staff is taking a casual ride through the City, and we would like you to join us!   The ride will consist of trails, roads, and an ambitious climb up Liberty Avenue towards Bloomfield.

We welcome anyone who would like to participate, and we won’t leave anyone behind.  However, keep in mind that Bike Pittsburgh considers this route to be at the intermediate level.  The ride will begin and end in the parking lot at the start of the Eliza Furnace Trail (Swinburne St. off of Second Ave, near Greenfield Ave).  Here’s the tentative 12.74 mile route, and here’s the Facebook event.

The event is free, but please RSVP with sam@pcrg.org or (412) 391-6732 ext. 210 so we can get a sense of how many people would like to go. Hope to see you then!

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GoBurgh’s Transit Tales

Last modified on 2013-09-25 19:49:53 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Transit Tales

GoBurgh, in partnership with Pittsburghers for Public Transit and Bricolage Production Company, has received a grant from The Sprout Fund to create Transit Tales. The collection phase is almost complete and we urge you to get involved.

Transit Tales is a multimedia storytelling project about how public transit affects our lives in Allegheny County. We’re recording stories about public transit from all kinds of people – riders, non-riders, and drivers – using various media and then sharing select stories through radio, print, social media, and live performance.

Storytelling is a powerful way to connect our communities and share the social, environmental, and economic impact of public transit in our lives. Story collection will continue through the end of summer. Transit Tales wants to hear from you!

You can contribute a story, or refer us to someone with a transit tale, by sending an email to transittalespgh@gmail.com or calling our Storyline at 412-945-0052. With a simple phone call, you can leave your story as a voicemail message (limit of 3 minutes). You can learn how to promote this opportunity to others, or collect stories yourself, on our website.

Visit www.transittalespgh.org for more information about how to participate.

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Keystone Communities Workshop

Last modified on 2013-09-25 19:49:18 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

On Thursday, August 29th from 11-1PM, the Urban Redevelopment Authority will host a workshop on the Keystone Communities designation process.  RSVP by August 23 to Josette Fitzgibbons at jfitzgibbons@ura.org or (412) 255-6686.  See flyer below for more details.

keystone Communities Flyer

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Kiva Zip Pittsburgh

Last modified on 2013-09-25 19:50:02 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

PCRG recently met with Kiva Fellow, Aletheia Henry, to learn how Kiva Zip Pittsburgh can help address some of the financial gaps for our region’s entrepreneurs.  The Kiva Zip program offers 0% interest business loans of up to $5,000.

Kiva Zip

What is Kiva Zip?

Kiva Zip is a new initiative to make small business loans to entrepreneurs in the United States. Kiva Zip aims to expand access to capital for microenterprises, to lower costs of capital, and to increase connections between borrowers and lenders.  We help entrepreneurs “crowd fund” loan capital from individual lenders around the world at a 0% interest rate.  These lenders not only supply interest free capital, but also act as brand ambassadors for your business, and can be used as a valuable resource for feedback, support, and advice.

Is Kiva Zip good for me?

If you are looking to start a business or grow your existing business and need a small amount of startup capital want to hear from you.  You can inquire about a loan by visiting www.zip.kiva.org/borrow 

Kiva Zip Summary

The borrower’s Debt : Income ratio is easy to calculate at this link.
2 Debt is classified as past-due when it is more than 30 days late.
3 It is easy for borrowers to set up a Paypal account. Paypal customer service can be reached on 888-221-1161.

 How does Kiva Zip work?

You’re able to fill out a loan application upon a referral from a trustee.  A trustee is an individual or organization who is able to write a public endorsement and speak to your character/personality and business concept.  A trustee should be someone who has known you for some time (over 3 months), knows your business, and understands how a loan will be beneficial.

What’s required of a trustee?

A trustee has to do two things in order for you to apply for a Kiva Zip loan:

1)      Create a public profile on Kiva Zip that will be showcased on your profile (10-15 minutes)

2)      Write a public endorsement for you as a borrower (5-10 minutes)

Organizational Trustee

An organizational trustee is an organization that provides a certain level of support or assistance for your business.  Whether it be help with a business plan or ongoing support of your existing business, they are able to endorse the viability of your business and your character/personality.  Organizational trustees allow you to start with a 0% interest loan up to $5,000 that is paid back between 10 and 24 months.

Individual Trustee

An individual trustee is someone that is able to vouch for your personality/character.  They must have known you for over three months and have a basic understanding of your business.  Individual trustees allow you to start with a 0% interest loan up to $1,000 that is paid back between 3 and 6 months.  Upon successful repayment you would qualify for a loan up to $5,000.


An endorsement is a 4-question assessment of you and your business.  It exists to provide lenders more detailed information so they can decide if they want to make a loan to you.

       Trustee Profile Page                                                       Trustee Endorsement

To see the trustees that Kiva Zip has partnered with, please visit zip.kiva.org/trustees

To learn more about the Kiva Zip program, please visit zip.kiva.org/faq

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Responsible Hospitality Institute

Last modified on 2014-12-16 18:10:06 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

rhi org chart

The Responsible Hospitality Institute (RHI) contracted with the City of Pittsburgh Department of Planning to facilitate a Sociable City Plan with the principal objective of establishing an alliance of key stakeholders in order to improve safety and vibrancy in Pittsburgh’s nighttime economy.

Numerous neighborhoods and business districts in Pittsburgh host nightlife and sociability opportunities in varying stages of development. Some of these “hospitality zones” are evolving from a Main Street approach to more formalized tax assessment districts. Central to each is a desire to seamlessly integrate dining, entertainment and events while addressing the negative impacts from crowds, intoxication and public disorder.

Our September Safe Neighborhoods Network Meeting will host Jim Peters, President of the Responsible Hospitality Institute, to discuss the various public safety initiatives within the Sociable City Plan.  The date is still to be determined. If you would like to attend, please be sure to send Samuel Su (sam@pcrg.org) your contact information, and we will send you the date/time asap.


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Ohio CDC Association’s 29th Annual Conference

Last modified on 2014-12-16 18:10:50 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Ohio CDC Conference

Join Ohio CDC Association at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza on October 10-11, 2013 for Ohio CDC Association’s 29th Annual Conference! For more information about the conference, click here!

Cincinnati is the heart of Ohio’s largest metro area, and the ”Queen City” has continued to prosper despite the challenges facing many Midwestern cities like it. Local CDC’s have led the resurgence of its historic downtown and neighborhood fabric. Thanks to their leadership, Cincinnati is the city that can’t stop and won’t stop!

This year’s keynote speaker will be Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, President of LOCUS, a coalition of real estate developers pursuing smart growth policies, and author of The Option of Urbanism: Investing in a New American Dream. The conference will feature topics including crowdfunding, form-based codes, comprehensive community development, and local food, and other speakers include Kaid Benfield, Jim Capraro, and Kyle Ezell.

For more information on the Ohio CDC Association’s 29th Annual Conference, please contact Nate Coffman at ncoffman@ohiocdc.org.

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Events and Announcements

Last modified on 2013-09-25 19:49:25 GMT. 0 comments. Top.


Upcoming PCRG Meetings

 Vacant Property Working Group (VPWG)

Friday, September 13th*



Thursday, September 19th


Safe Neighborhoods Network


Other Events & Announcements

  • “The grand opening of Millvale Community Library at 213 Grant Ave. will be held Sunday [August 18th] with live music, food trucks, face painting, art and games for children, and information booths.” Read more about it in this Post-Gazette article.
  • We’re excited to have Rebekkah Ranallo and Elly Fisher from Oakland Planning and Development Corporation join PCRG in the National Bike Challenge!  If you work or volunteer at one of PCRG’s 44 member organizations, we encourage you to join our team (Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group).
  • South Side Community Council’s 2nd Annual Garden Tour is Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 10AM-2PM. Explore South Side’s “Secret Gardens” during the 2nd Annual South Side Garden Tour.
  • The Hill District Consensus Group holds its monthly meeting on the second Friday of each month from 10-12PM in the Kaufmann Center Auditorium. Anyone with an interest in the Hill District community is welcome to join the conversation. Questions or comments? Call 412-697-4692 or e-mail info@hdcg.org
  • On Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10-3PM, the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation will host the inaugural Wilkinsburg House and Garden Tour.
  •  Ross Township Business and Economic Development Corporation (RED) is hosting the “Taste of Ross” to showcase Ross’s diverse dining community. Enjoy a day of fine foods, drinks, fun and community on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at Shoppes at Northway.
  • Meet the Commander on Your Corner: The commander on your corner project is a way of initiating dialogue, coordinating efforts, and establishing positive community relations in the various Zone Two neighborhoods. Click here for a list of dates, times, and locations for the events.  Questions can be addressed to: Marlese Porter, Zone Two Community Resource Officer at marlease.porter@pittsburghpa.gov or 412-255-2827.
  • Join the Ecodistrict Idea Share forum on Facebook to discuss the Ecological, Equity, and Economic challenges in planning resilient communities, put forth strategies for addressing them, and develop these ideas through collaboration.
  • Oakland Planning and Development Corporation has listed four houses for sale to owner-occupants. Through new construction, home rehabilitation, and incentives to encourage homeowners in Oakland, OPDC’s housing programs aim to strengthen Oakland’s residential neighborhoods.

If you are a PCRG member organization or partner, please let us know if you have upcoming events or announcements.  We would be happy to help you promote it through our social media and future newsletters.

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For more information on this newsletter, please contact Samuel K Su, PCRG’s Program Coordinator, at sam@pcrg.org or (412) 391-6732 ext. 210. [back to top]